So, you’ve found the love of your life and you intend to get married some day. If you have assets to protect, it’s often in your best interest to sign a prenup before the wedding—the trouble is, when people hear the word “prenup,” they often hear “I plan to divorce you someday, darling.” Here are a few tips to mitigate the chance that asking for a prenup will end your relationship.
Tips for Requesting a Prenuptial Agreement
The Sooner, The Better— Ideally, your future spouse will know you want a prenup before the relationship even gets very serious. Make it clear that, no matter who you marry, you intend to sign a prenup. If you can have the conversation in the casual phase of your relationship, your future spouse probably won’t take it personally.
Don’t Let A Prenup Ruin the Celebration— If you’re already engaged, don’t let the desire for a prenup ruin the celebration. If you’re engaged and you haven’t discussed it, be gentle with how you present the request. If you’re a man, don’t give her a ring and ask for a prenup on the same night. If you’re a woman, don’t talk about wedding plans and ask for a prenup in the same conversation. Have a reasonable discussion, and make sure your timing is in good taste. Don’t do it right before the wedding.
Be Informed, and Be Informative— A prenup is, at its core, a business arrangement. If you can show that you have your spouse's best interest in mind, and that you will take care of him or her financially no matter what, it’s an easier sell. Be prepared to negotiate. Understand what you’re asking for within the arrangement, and what you’re willing to give.
This Isn’t Just For Me— For a person of substantial wealth, getting a prenup means full financial disclosure to the other party, and that may be attractive to your future spouse. Both parties involved have the opportunity to get some great legal advice, and both can benefit from the arrangement if it is negotiated fairly.
Do It For the Kids— If you have children from a previous marriage asking for a prenup is much easier, as a prenup is about protecting the assets your children are entitled to.
A couple more things to keep in mind:
Expect Your Prenup To Change Over Time— Prenups can be re-negotiated throughout the years. This information may make your future spouse more comfortable with the idea.
You Get What You Pay For—If you’re using an attorney who is selling "value" prenups, you may be entitling your future spouse to more than the court system would give him or her.
Your Trust Fund Won’t Protect You—In many cases, a trust fund is not enough to protect your legal assets.